U.S. and World News
- Following the attempted military coup earlier this month, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is tightening his grip on the country by ordering the closure of over 2,000 private schools, charities and other institutions in his first action since imposing a state of emergency. Also causing alarm among Turkey’s NATO allies was Erdogan shutting down 130 media outlets and his dismissal of over 1,500 military officers as he attempts to regain complete control over the country.
- The Federal Reserve held its policy meeting this week, leaving interest rates unchanged but altering the language in its statement. The Committee upgraded their assessment of the U.S. labor market, noting that “job gains were strong in June following weak growth in May.” The other key phrase in their statement was, “Near term risks to the economic outlook have diminished.” While this does not make a rate hike imminent, it indicates that the Fed would like to raise rates sometime this year. Kansas City Fed President Esther George dissented, favoring an increase in interest rates at this meeting.
- This week the S&P 500 was down 0.05% and closed at 2,174. The Dow Jones fell 0.75% and closed at 18,432. So far in 2016, the S&P is up 7.56% and the Dow is up 7.25%.
- Interest rates retreated this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.02% and 1.45%, respectively.
- The spot price of WTI Crude Oil fell 0.62% this week to close at $41.46 per barrel. WTI Crude is up 3.65% in 2016.
- The spot price of Gold gained 2.16% this week, closing at $1,351.28 per ounce. Year to date, gold prices are up 27.35%.
- Initial jobless claims came in at 266,000 which is higher than last week’s reading of 253,000. The Labor Department noted no special factors in the data. The four week moving average for claims moved down to 257,000.
- The Case-Shiller home price index declined by 0.1% in May, missing expectations of a 0.1% increase. Data was mixed across the cities that are part of the index. Over the last 12 months, home prices as measured by Case-Shiller have risen 5.2%.
- The initial reading of 2nd quarter U.S. GDP showed 1.2% annualized growth, much lower than the consensus estimate of 2.5% annualized growth. This figure will be subject to multiple revisions.
Fact of the Week
- National health care expenditures in the United States during 2016 are projected to reach $3.35 trillion, or $10,346 per person. (Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)
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